POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Wed 2007/01/10 15:55 JST in Japan

Just wanted to say a few things about Otakurls before I started. Some really cool links are being submitted - some of which I'd never normaly come across. Thanks to those who have already started to share them.

I notice many of you are using the marklet - feel free to change the title to something that is eye catchy as some of the Japanese titles dont mean much. Another thing is, if you are submitting a page that is paginated, you dont need to submit page1, page2 etc of the same topic as there are already links on that site for that.
The thing on the top of my list is your profile page which will have your blogs RSS feed, comment count, Otakurl count and customizable bits n pieces.

Anyway, on with the topic which is Asakusa Shrine. This post is a bit late due to much time being spent on Otakurls and the mascot character (which is coming along swimmingly).
Hatsu Moude is where the folks over here gather at a shrine of their liking to make their new year prayers. Last year we went to Meiji Jingu and you can see the shenanigans here. Dont usually get round to going to Asakusa so we decided to pop along to see how the area has changed.

This is the main entrance to Asakusa shrine - also known as Sensouji. You may have seen that huge lantern in many tourist guides for Tokyo. The characters Kaminari(雷)and Mon(門) literally meaning Thunder Door! Walk through it and get zapped by 2.5million volts of lightning.

Once through the door, you will see a passage lined with shops selling a ton of crap. I mean souvenirs ^^;

This stall is selling some sweet hot rice wine otherwise known as AmaZake. I think this is to get you drunk so that you dont know how much money you are going to give away later...

If one cant afford to dish out on cosplay costumes, one can always go for these 500 yen masks...

Purin(プリン) is a popular pudding in Japan. These Purin happen to be in the shape of eyes for some reason. Japanese lesson time - you are bound to find out sooner or later anyway and if you watch anime then you may have heard of this term before.
Oppai(おっぱい)is the word for "eyes". And when I say "eyes" I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Figures in Japan date back centuries(?) and this is what figures used to look like then - very different from the ones we are used to eh?

Another shop selling a ton of stuff that you would buy to stick in a drawer.

Wandering off on one of the side roads will take to you streets full of nostalgia.

Lining up to pay pilgrimage. At the end of the passage is the shrine that everybody is heading for.

We went on the third of Jan which was the last day for Hatsu Moude.

A look back and I see a ton of people...

Another look back and they have spawned another copy of themselves! I was thinking to myself - I have seen people line up for money before (like at a welfare office) but its interesting to see people queuing up desperate to give money away!
Once they reach the end of the line, they throw money into a pit, clap their hands once, scratch their head and make a prayer.

After all the queing-up shenanigans, its time to get some grub at the food stalls set up within the shrine.

How about some Octopus balls?

Shrines are a nice place to be in the new year and if you are in Japan at this time then I recommend you go along. You really get a sense of how peaceful it is in Japan (when compared to Hackney London for example ^^;)